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Private Investors Can Contribute to GHG Emission Reduction through Rehabilitating Degraded lands While Making Profit.



The main rationale for proposing this project is that there are vast areas of degraded/abandoned lands in developing countries like Ethiopia which are not being used both by the government and communities for any purpose. Such lands can be handed over to private sectors freely so that they can rehabilitate them to generate income. The point is that even if relentless efforts were made  to rehabilitate and protect degraded lands in Ethiopia by government and public; and encouraging results were obtained (Tekalign and Tegbaru, 2015), still there are vast areas of degraded lands (Yesuf et al., 2005) which are unlikely to be reached by government rehabilitation program  in near future. At the same time land in countries like Ethiopia are owned by the government. Thus, there is no way for private investors to take their own initiative and rehabilitate degraded lands. Therefore, if such lands are granted to private sector for 50-100 years, they can rehabilitate it so that the rehabilitated lands can contribute to global GHG emission reduction and provide several other benefits. Private investors involved in this business will get benefit by selling carbon sequestered by above and below ground biomass on international carbon market (UUFCCC, 2016). They can also get benefit by selling non-timber forest products, bee keeping, tourism etc. 

However, policies, rules and regulation on ways of involving private sectors in rehabilitating degraded lands should be developed and approved. Moreover, support form national and international stakeholders encouraging the involvement of private sectors are required.

This project is envisaged to be conducted on 10 pilot sites in Ethiopia. Then experiences and lessons obtained from pilot sites after 5 years will be scaled up to other part of the country and world.

In this proposal approaches and ways of exploring potential of Private- Government partnership to foster GHG emission reduction through rehabilitation of degraded lands are outlined. 

What actions do you propose?

1.Seltting of criteria for selecting degraded lands to be handed over to private sector for rehabilitation.

 2. Developing  and approval policies, rules and regulation through which private investors will involve.

3.Drafting and approval legal frame work for protection of private investors.

4. Identification, delineation and mapping of degraded lands (10 pilot sites)

5. Convince and get the go ahead of the nearby communities.

6.Invitation of interested private investors to owe such lands and invest to rehabilitate it .

7. After owing the land  private investors will take the following actions:

7.1 Enclosure of area to be rehabilitated from  any kind of human and animal interventions.

7.2 Collect base line information of the land to be rehabilitated

7.3  Get detailed studies on specific technologies needed to rehabilitate degraded land

7.4 The next step is implementation of physical and biological rehabilitation technologies on the ground.

7.5  Assessment and estimation of the amount of carbon sequestered

8. Selling carbon sequestered annually on international market.

9. Scale up of success from this pilot project to other parts of the country and world


Who will take these actions?

The key actors who are envisaged to contribute to the success of this project are listed below.

Private sector/Investors

The primary actor who will take the action will be private investors who are interested to rehabilitate degraded lands by employing suitable physical and biological soil and water conservation technologies and planting trees. Thus, actions listed under number 7 and  8 are primarily supposed to be done by private investors. However, to be successful, the project needs contributions of several other stakeholders. Some of them are listed below.


Government of Ethiopia is the one  on the fore front in this aspect. Fertile grounds needed for the involvement of private sector in rehabilitation of degraded lands should first be laid by the government. Thus, actions briefly listed above from No. 1-6 and No. 8-9  are supposed to be  done  by government. Moreover, it can prepare incentives packages to encourage involvement of more and more private  investors in land rehabilitation work.

International agencies

International organizations, donors, NGOs and countries involved in clean development mechanisms involve in assessing and issuing certificate sellable on  world carbon market for the pilot projects. They can assist the pilot project by giving technical advices, financially etc.


Mass medias such as TV, Radio, Newsletters, internet communication means including LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. can be used to promote, advertise, introduce etc. of the project.


The communities (farmers, students, etc. ) living adjacent the project site can be encouraged and convinced to contribute to the rehabilitation work.


 Professionals will contribute to the project by giving advice on soil and water conservation technologies suitable for rehabilitation of specific, degraded land, advice on designing of the project, technical backstopping etc.


Volunteers from all part of the country can contribute to the implementation of the pilot projects.

Where will these actions be taken?

The project will be implemented in Ethiopia, developing country as a pilot project. This is because GHG emission from land and forest is much higher than that in developed countries for obvious reasons. At the same time, opportunities for GHG emission reduction by land and forest are very high in developing countries if innovative approaches and technologies that increase afforestation, rehabilitate degraded lands are applied. Thus, with this in mind, this project will be implemented on 10 pilot sites representing major agro-ecologies ( such as dry lands, humid tropics, hot and dry areas etc.) and regions of Ethiopia. This is because the technologies, approaches etc. needed to rehabilitate degraded lands in different agro-ecologies and regions can vary widely. Similarly, the success, lessons, experiences etc. likely to be obtained vary from place to place and agro-ecology. Thus,  the knowledge, skills, experiences, approaches and lessons that will be obtained from some of the successful rehabilitation sites will be scaled up to more and more areas in Ethiopia; and to other developing countries.

How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

It is estimated that on the average such lands are expected to sequester 250 tCO2e/ha/year after the trees are fully established (5 years after rehabilitation of degraded lands). However, this estimation can vary greatly depending on several factors from site to site. Thus, carbon sequestered by the growing vegetation on and underground biomass of land being rehabilitated will be quantified following international emission reduction and carbon credit assessment protocol as stated in


What are other key benefits?

Expected key benefits are indicated by sections as follows:

GHG emission reduction benefit

The major benefit from this project is that contribution to global GHG emission reduction by sequestration of carbon by above ground vegetation established on degraded lands being rehabilitated.

Environmental benefits

  • ·  Rehabilitation of degraded lands and improved environmental quality
  •    Increased soil and plant biodiversity
  • ·  Increased water infiltration and recharge ground water
  • ·  Improved soil fertility
  • ·  Dissemination of knowledge and skill to the nearby communities

   Economic benefits

  • ·  Increased income of investors.
  • ·  Increased income of the nearby communities
  • ·   Contribute to the overall development of the country.

    Social benefits

  • ·   It will create employment opportunities
  •     Aesthetic and recreation
  •   Increased water availability 
  •    Risk reduction by flooding, land slide, soil erosion etc.


What are the proposal’s costs?

The immediate need for budget is for the following activities:

To identifying, delineation and mapping of pilot degraded lands to be given to private sectors (US$ 15000.00)

Preparations of relevant policies, rules and regulations as well as modalities on ways and means to involve private investors in degraded land rehabilitation business. (US$ 10000.00)

To publish such materials and for advertisement and announcement  through mass media etc. (US$ 5000.00)

Thus, total budget required to perform the ground work is estimated to be US$30000.00. However, the main cost spent in rehabilitation of individual degraded land is definitely far higher than this. But it is up to the individual private investor who owes the land to rehabilitate it and make benefit out of investing on such land.

Time line

1-2 year

In this phase actions such as preparation and approval  of policies, rules and regulations that encourage the involvement of private sectors in rehabilitation of degraded lands for improving the environment and reduction of GHG, identification, delineation and mapping of degraded lands to be handed over to private investors,

3-5 Years

  • Private investors acquire such lands and make detailed studies of degraded land they acquired and enclose the area.
  • Collect and document baseline information of the degraded land including video and picture, weather data, size, altitude, soil carbon content etc.
  • Identify technologies that best rehabilitate the land, and implement technologies selected .

5 -15 years

  •  Assess the carbon sequestered yearly per hectare of land following internationally accepted manuals and guidelines after 3-5 years since the rehabilitation work has been started. 
  • Get the carbon sequestered assessed per hectare per year just after 5 years onwards since rehabilitation work has been with the help the government of international agencies involved in clean development mechanism (CDM).
  • Obtain emission reduction certificate credit and sell the credit on international market.
  • Investor also begin to get other benefits from the rehabilitated land such as by selling non-timber forest products, harvesting honey etc
  • The site will be used as pilot learning site for interested public and private organizations.

15-50 years

  • Get the carbon sequestered assessed following international standard (CDM).
  • Obtain emission reduction certificate credit and sell the credit on international market.
  • The site will be used as pilot learning site.
  • Scale up of the experiences, approaches, knowledge and skills

   50-100 years

  •  Research on the impact of rehabilitation of degraded lands on plant and microorganism diversity, species productivity, soil fertility etc.

Related proposals

Not found


IPCC. 2000. Special Report: Land Use, Land-Use Change And forestry: Summary for Policy Makers, Special Report.

Tekalign, M and B. Tegbaru. 2015. Ethiopian Stakeholders Workshop: Transforming Soil Health and Fertility Management for Sustainable Increased Agricultural Productivity Organized in Celebration of the 2015 International Year of Soils., 5 and 6 November 2015, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

UNFCCC, Clean development mechanism,, accessed on 29 April  2016 at 3.0 M local time.

Yesuf, M., A. Mekonnen, M. Kassie and J. Pender.2005.  Cost of Land Degradation in Ethiopia: A Critical Review of Past Studies. Environmental Economic Forum Ethiopia  (EEPFE) and IFPRI.  Accessed on 4/21/16, 3:00 PM evening